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3 ‘key’ players to boost UP Cebu in next Cesafi season

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | January 04,2024 - 09:19 PM

UP maroons

Matthew Flores, Andrew Padilla, and Kent Joshua Cabanlit. | Facebook photos

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu Fighting Maroons will likely activate three of its coveted players who missed their debut season in the Cesafi men’s basketball tournament under one condition.

UP Cebu’s head coach, Rommel Rasmo, in an earlier interview with CDN Digital, revealed that he would likely enlist the services of Pilipinas Super League (PSL) Visayas leg MVP Matthew Flores, former Adamson University Falcon Andrew Padilla, and former USJ-R Jaguar Kent Joshua Cabanlit.

However, Rasmo clarified that these three players must balance their basketball and studies, considering UP has a very strict academic policy for its student-athletes.

“Yes, they will play given they exert a lot of efforts to their academic responsibilities. So, that’s why, as their coach, we monitor their studies,” said Rasmo, a seven-time Cesafi high school champion with the SHS-AdC Magis Eagles.

Flores, Padilla, and Cabanlit missed their opportunity to play for the UP Cebu Fighting Maroons in the latter’s debut season last year since they were not eligible to play as per Cesafi residency rules.

Rasmo considers these three players as floor leaders and scoring machines that would surely impact the team in the next Cesafi season.

“We just want to compete, but we understand. It’s our first year, most of our players are first year college. Ang masakit sa amin kasi, we expected na sila Andrew Padilla, Matthew Flores, and Cabanlit from USJ-R, hindi na pinush. Before that screening, we thought makaduwa sila. Imagine mo tatlo nawala. Hindi lang scores nawala, pati leadership,” Rasmo revealed.

“Yung leadership nila. I’m happy naman sa improvement ng team. Ang nangyayari kasi this season was our pre-season.”

Despite the setback, Rasmo is confident they’ll perform better this season with the presence of these key pieces on their team.

“For sure, given at least one year, I know already, but now we want the players to focus academically in the meantime. We will sit down on this to plan everything for the next season, that’s one of our agendas,” Rasmo added.

With the addition of Flores, Padilla, and Cabanlit, Rasmo would undoubtedly have more firepower.

They finished their debut season in Cesafi with two wins and eight losses.


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TAGS: basketball, Cesafi, Coach Rommel Rasmo, UP Maroons

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